Drawing on Air: A live drawing event with Leah Garnett and Lianne Zannier


Drawing on Air
A live drawing event with Leah Garnett and Lianne Zannier

Friday, 29 May @ 4:00 pm Atlantic Standard Time

Join artists Leah Garnett and Lianne Zannier for Drawing on Air, a coast-to-coast drawing event presented by the Owens Art Gallery in partnership with Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre and Mount Allison University Campus/Community Radio Station CHMA 106.9 FM.

Broadcasting live from Sackville, NB, and Vancouver, BC, Leah Garnett and co-host Lianne Zannier will lead participants in a series of drawing exercises that will explore language, perception and imagination. Drawing on Air is a collective experience, one that connects socially distanced friends and neighbours and far-flung towns and cities. No matter where you are in the world, you can take part.

First presented in 2002, Drawing on Air is a radio-broadcast project in which Garnett invites listeners to generate drawings based on verbal descriptions. As a child growing up without a television, Garnett stretched imaginative muscles listening to nightly radio dramas and read-aloud programs that required her to “draw” all the visuals in her mind. This experience inspired Drawing on Air, which has been performed in various iterations with a host of collaborators. Lianne Zannier, who co-hosted Drawing on Air when it was a regular program on CHMA in Sackville from 2006-2008, will reunite with Garnett for this special broadcast in which listeners will explore what they hear through drawing. The event will feature ASL interpretation and CART transcription.

Drawing on Air is an all-ages event that will run approximately 45 minutes. We are pleased to feature this project on FIELD TRIP: Art Across Canada, a national platform promoting contemporary art in Canada.

There are many ways to participate:
Register for the Zoom event featuring ASL interpretation and CART transcription
Follow along on Facebook Live
Tune in to CHMA 106.9 FM in Sackville or stream via chmafm.com
Drawing on Air will be recorded and archived on OwensTV

For this event, you will need a comfortable space to draw; 3-5 sheets of paper or a sketchbook; and a selection of your favourite drawing materials, which could include pencils, pens, markers, or crayons.

Share your Drawing on Air drawings by tagging @OwensArtGallery on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #OwensDrawingOnAir. You can also email your drawings to owens@mta.ca. We love to see what you make!

Leah Garnett is an artist based in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada, where she is an Associate Professor in the Fine Arts Department at Mount Allison University. She holds a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and an MFA from the University of Guelph. Garnett is a member of two artist collectives: Hermes Gallery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and The Red Head Gallery in Toronto, Ontario. She has exhibited primarily in Canada and attended residencies at the Sirius Art Centre, Fire Station Artists’ Studios, the MacDowell Colony, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and Struts Gallery. Her practice focuses on drawing, sculpture, and installation.

Lianne Zannier is an animator and visual artist living in Vancouver, British Columbia, the traditional unceded Indigenous territories belonging to the Musqueam, Skxwú7mesh-ulh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and Tsleil-Watututh peoples. Currently, her practice investigates the relationship between the medium of drawing and traditional forms of animation with digital technologies. Her work ranges from large-scale group drawings to immersive installations and animated short films. Through her practice she experiments with animated movement, malleability, and 3D interventions. Her work has been shown throughout Canada, the US, and internationally. In addition to her practice, she is the curator and founder of IFF-Animation, an online journal of experimental animation, and works at VIVO Media Arts Centre. She holds a BA in Art History from Mount Allison University (Sackville), a BFA in Film Animation from Concordia University (Montreal), and a MFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (Vancouver). She was Leah Garnett’s co-host for Drawing on Air broadcast on CHMA radio from 2006-2008.

Drawing on Air is made possible through support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture.


Owens Art Gallery
Mount Allison University
61 York Street
Sackville, NB E4L 1E1

506 364 2574

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We would like to acknowledge, honour, and pay respect to the traditional owners and custodians (from all four directions) of the land on which we gather. It is upon the unceded, ancestral lands of the Mi’kmaq that Mount Allison University is built. While this area is known as Sackville, NB, it is part of the greater territory of Mi’kma’ki. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship,” which the Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik first signed with the British Crown in 1725.

The Owens Art Gallery acknowledges the generous support of all its funders, including Mount Allison University, the Canada Council for the Arts, the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, the Town of Sackville New Brunswick, and the Friends of the Owens.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Owens Art Gallery is currently closed to the public.

Image: Drawings by Leah Garnett and Lianne Zannier from a broadcast of Drawing on Air, 2011, courtesy of the artists